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Reporters Without Orders



Young Reporters talk about major stories of the week and what it took to cover them. Hosted by: Cherry Agarwal Click here to support Newslaundry:
92 Episodes Play All Episodes
access_time4 days ago
In this week’s episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha is joined by Ayush Tiwari, Basant Kumar and The Quint’s Aishwarya S Iyer. While Aishwarya talks about the Hyderabad rape case and her experience of reporting on the same, Ayush gives us a break down of everything that was wrong with the maps depicting BJP’s supposed electoral decline across states. This and a lot more, as they talk about what made news, what didn’t, and somethings that absolutely shouldn’t have. Tune in!
access_time11 days ago
In this week’s episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha is joined by Newslaundry correspondents Ayush Tiwari, Prateek Goyal, Chahak Gupta and Basant Kumar. While Prateek clears the air about the entire Maharashtra madness, Chehek talks in detail about the JNU protests and the situation that persists. This and a lot more, as they talk about what made news, what didn’t, and somethings that absolutely shouldn’t have. Tune in!
access_time18 days ago
In this week’s episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha is joined by Newslaundry correspondents Ayush Tiwari and Basant Kumar. Also joining the podcast is Mid-day's Gaurav Sarkar. They discuss at length the post-election drama in Maharashtra, electoral bonds, media's coverage of JNU protests, the EU Disinfo Lab’s report on fake local media outlets serving Indian interests and some very most bizarre news.
access_time25 days ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha is joined by Omar Rashid, Uttar Pradesh Correspondent for The Hindu and Newslaundry reporters Basant Kumar and Ayush Tiwari to talk about the politics of Ayodhya and the drama in Maharashtra among other things.

The podcast begins with the usual bits of bizarre news stories. The discussion quickly moves to Ayodhya with Omar who shares his experience of reporting from Uttar Pradesh for the last seven years. He goes on to narrate the reaction of both Hindus and Muslims of Ayodhya to the Supreme Court verdict. Ayush, who is just back from Ayodhya describes in detail what he calls "the market of TV news." Basant has some insightful observations about mainstream media's coverage of the Ayodhya matter.

Apart from Ayodhya, the trio also discuss the unfolding drama in Maharashtra, Arnab Goswami's awkward episode with Baba Ramdev on Republic Bharat and the government's response to air pollution in Delhi.

For this and more, tune in.
access_time1 month ago
For this episode of Reporters without Orders, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Newslaundry correspondents Basant Kumar and Veena Nair to talk about important, and bizarre, news stories of the week, and media activism in India.

Basant talks about the Haryana Assembly election, “Kingmaker” Dushyant Chautala, and the erosion in the support of the once formidable Indian National Lok Dal. Veena analyses the political drama in Maharashtra, where the Shiv Sena is insisting that the BJP agree to rotating the chief ministership between the two allies.

They also discuss US President Donald Trump’s cryptic message – “something very big has happened” – to announce the death of the ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his description of the involved in the operation as “a beautiful, strong dog who came back”.

As to the bizarre news of the week, the panel mention the headline of The Washington Post's obituary of al-Baghdadi – “An austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State” – and the hashtag trend #wapodeathnotice where Twitter users began writing obituary notices for infamous historical characters such as Adolf Hitler.

The India media’s coverage of Hindutva leader Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder, the failure of a section of the Kerala media to abide by journalistic ethics in the Allen Stanley case, and media activism in India are other topics of discussions in this episode.

For this and more, tune in.
access_time2 months ago
Host Snigdha Sharma and Newslaundry correspondents Ayush Tiwari and Basant Kumar are joined by Siddharth Singh, an energy, mobility and climate policy expert and author of the book The Great Smog of India for this episode of Reporters Without Orders.

The panel extensively discusses the persistent matter of air pollution. Snigdha thinks the issue does not get its fair share of coverage by the Indian media. Siddharth talks about his book and what led him to write it. He explains how India’s use of outdated technology and fossil fuels, together with its geographical conditions, compound the problem of pollution. He bemoans the lack of a consolidated approach in dealing with the issue. In this context, the panel talks about China’s Blue Sky Initiative and the immediate need of making climate a political issue.

The panel discuss the important news stories of the week. Speaking about his visit to Haryana to cover the elections, Ayush explains how ground issues were absent from both the campaign and media’s coverage. In the same vein, Basant says he is disappointed with the media’s coverage of the Ayodhya dispute.
access_time2 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha Sharma and Newslaundry correspondents Meghnad S and Basant Kumar decode the PMC Bank crisis, the “real issues” in the upcoming Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plogging on the Mamallapuram beach on October 12.

They start off by discussing the news that rightfully made news. Meghnad explains how cooperative banks function: “Cooperative banks, in general, are a scam.” Basant notes the sacking of 25,000 Home Guards in Uttar Pradesh, arguing that it should not have happened. “Instead of giving jobs, they’re snatching them away,” Basant complains of the government.

What didn’t make news this week but should have? A party for journalists at I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar’s Delhi home which was paid for by the taxpayer, says Meghnad.

Basant points to the “invisibility of real issues” in the Maharashtra and Haryana polls, adding, “Nationalism, Ayodhya and Article 370 are the only three issues being raised.” Snigdha shares the news of tea garden workers in Darjeeling going on strike after they were refused their bonuses.

This week’s selection of bizarre news includes the same “exclusive interview” of Home Minister Amit Shah on different TV news channels and a funeral prank in Ireland.
access_time2 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Ayush Tiwari and Newslaundry correspondents Meghnad S and Basant Kumar discuss the shastra puja “Hindu spin” to the delivery of the first Rafale fighter aircraft, the incendiary speech by a CRPF constable and its controversial broadcast by India Today, and the morbid murders that shook a small Kerala town.

Speaking about the viral speech of the CRPF constable at a debate competition organised by the National Human Rights Commission late last month, Basant says he heard the speeches of other debaters in which they emphasised how the Army has committed human rights violations in the past. They offered many examples of areas where the Army has tackled terrorism and Naxalism without human rights violations.

On the information deficit regarding the status of mental health in India, Meghnad says, “Unless you have data or, as Basant says, an adequate number of mental health professionals to handle cases, it’s just absolutely worthless to even expect anything really.”

What made news this week that shouldn’t have was the exaggeration of Hardik Pandya’s birthday tweet for Zaheer Khan, among others.
access_time2 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Snigdha Sharma hosts Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari and Bibek Bhattacharya, deputy editor at Mint Lounge. They discuss whether the climate strike protests around the world could prove effective in changing government policy, the Uttar Pradesh government’s inquiry clearing Kafeel Khan of wrongdoing in the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy, among other subjects.

Bibek notes the role of class and privilege in protests and movements. “There is an inability to bridge the gap between concerned urban citizenry and people who live outside of our radar, in forests etc who are way poorer.”

Ayush points out how the media was quick to make Kafeel Khan into a villain after the tragedy but has been largely quiet about the report clearing him.

Sharing their “bizarre news of the week”, Bibek talks about the “funeral” of the Pizol glacier in the Swiss Alps while Ayush mentions a fashion student’s photoshoot amid floodwaters in Patna. Snigdha’s bizarre news was about an animal social media influencer.
access_time2 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, Snigdha Sharma hosts Gaurav Sarkar, Ayush Tiwari and Basant Kumar to reflect on the extravaganza that was Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy, Modi’ rally in Houston, United States, and its wall-to-wall coverage by the Indian media. Why would the media think the rally warranted such fawning coverage? And why were the same channels that had labelled Donald Trump a serial liar singing his praises for sharing Modi’s stage?

By the way, a major protest, dubbed “Adios, Modi” was held right outside the stadium where Modi was holding audience, but you could be forgiven for having missed it on primetime TV news -- they barely covered it. No points for guessing why.

Among the people who dominated the news this week was the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. She delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Summit, urging world leaders to act to save the planet before it is too late. Sadly, for her advocacy, the teenager became the object of a barrage of hate on social media. So, what does our panel make of her advocacy?

Tune in.
access_time3 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders has Newslaundry correspondents Gaurav Sarkar, Ayush Tiwari and Basant Kumar discussing a range of topics with the host Snigdha Sharma.

So, what was on their minds this week? The crisis in Indian journalism, that’s what. The last few months have seen several media outlets shut shop and dozens, if not hundreds, of journalists lose their jobs. That’s only half the story, though. What plagues Indian journalism runs deeper, to its fundamental work. Take for instance an article published by India Today ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday which, as Newslaundry showed, was a textbook example of How Not To Do Journalism.

Thanks in no small part to the pearls of wisdom offered by Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, India’s dire economic situation dominated the news this week — until Modi’s birthday came along, that is. Our panel offers an overview of what exactly is wrong with the economy and how it affects the common man.

If you dig sports, this episode offers insight into the new season of the UEFA Champions League.

Tune in!
access_time3 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders has host Snigdha Sharma, Newslaundry correspondents Gaurav Sarkar and Ayush Tiwari and Aishwarya Iyer, a reporter at The Quint, discuss the Tabrez Ansari and Pehlu Khan lynching cases, Swami Chinmayanand, MJ Akbar vs Priya Ramani and a lot more.

The podcast begins with everyone sharing the most bizarre news they had heard all week. Gaurav talks about the Vice President of Goldman Sachs who has gambling problems while Ayush talks about a case in Florida where a burglar broke into a house and ended up cooking breakfast for himself.

Aishwarya talks about the recent developments in the Tabrez Ansari case. Ayush and Based on their personal experiences while reporting from the ground, Aishwarya and Ayush tells Snigdha how police and society deal with such incidents. Aishwarya talks about how some people even avoid rearing cows in their homes after incidents like this occur in their village.
Gaurav follows up with the Priya Ramani case with juicy details from the courtroom. “You could see a lot of strategy coming into play,” he says. Ayush discusses the Chinmayanand case he has been covering. Talking about Shahjahanpur where he went to cover the case, Ayush says, “There is an industry of misogyny in small-town India.”

The podcast ends with the panel discussing stories that shouldn’t have made news at all. For this and more, tune in!
access_time3 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha Sharma gets into a candid conversation with Newslaundry Hindi correspondent Basant Kumar, Newslaundry reporter Gaurav Sarkar and policy-expert, Meghnad S.
They begin the podcast with some of the most bizarre news they heard during the week. Basant begins his ‘khatarnaak’ news story of a man seeking a divorce from his wife because she wasn’t shy enough on their nuptial night. Even more bizarre is when Gaurav talks about Bihar’s Deputy CM, Sushil Kumar Modi attributing the slump in India’s GDP to the months of savan-bhadon.
The discussion on GDP continues and takes a hilarious turn when Meghnad attempts t explains GDP using ‘baingan ka bharta’ as an example. They talk about the merging of Public Sector Banks, its effect on the economy, employment, and even GDP. The panel also talks about the story on Mirzapur’s mid-day meal, the journalist receiving flak for reporting it and the gradual shift of attention from the mid-day meal crisis to the journalist himself.
The conversation then shifts to Chidambaram’s arrest and the complexity surrounding his trial. Gaurav explains the nuances of police and judicial custody in this case and shares his experiences as a courtroom reporter while he driving the panel through the details of Chidambaram’s trial. He also speaks about the lack of coverage received by Vivek Doval’s defamation case against The Caravan.
The podcast ends with the panel’s recommendations.
access_time3 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, host Snigdha Sharma catches up with Newslaundry Hindi correspondent Basant Kumar, Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari and Meghnad S.

The discussion kicks off with everyone on the panel sharing the most bizarre news they've come across this week including Donald Trump's desire to nuke hurricanes. Talking about journalists expressing grief both on TV and their personal social media handles after Arun Jaitley's demise, the panel thinks obituaries should involve truth and not just extensive admiration. Meghnad mentions a tweet by journalist Rohini Singh where she expressed sadness but also mentioned how Jaitley came in her way of practicing unbiased journalism on several occasions.

When Meghnad wonders if landlines were working just a few days after the decision of August 5, as reported by mainstream media, Ayush provides a clear picture with actual facts. Ayush also talks about the experience of working with journalists in Kashmir, how absurd the daily press briefings were in Srinagar, why people are not sending their children to school, the probable reason behind forcing immigrants to leave the valley amongst other things.

Meghnad then delves into why RBI's decision to transfer huge amounts of money to the government is suspicious and how Nirmala Sitharaman is clueless about where to spend it. Ayush expresses concern over the Finance ministry shutting its doors to transparency. The podcast ends with Basant wondering why farmers are still committing suicide in spite of so many agricultural policies being in place. He also mentions how strange it is that the National Crime Records Bureau has not released any kind of statistics after 2016.

For all this and more, listen up!
access_time4 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Snigdha Sharma wears the host's hat and sits down with Newslaundry Hindi correspondent Basant Kumar, desk writer Gaurav Sarkar and Meghnad S.

The discussion kicks off with everyone on the panel sharing the most bizarre news they've read this week including the sequence of events involving P Chidambaram. Talking about under-reported stories, Gaurav mentions a BJP member allegedly raping a minor at gunpoint in Mumbai while Basant expresses concern over journalists' ignorance regarding several job cuts across the country. Basant says, "This is a slap on the face of journalists because if we were reporting about this, NITMA wouldn't have had to put out an advertisement."

Talking about the state's attempt to link people's social media accounts to their Aadhaar cards, Meghnad thinks an Aadhaar card is not needed to find out about those spreading fake news. Snigdha feels the government is trying to make citizens choose between privacy and curbing fake news.

The group then discusses the hashtag #ArrestShehlaRashid trending on Twitter and the relevance of Donald Trump's attempt to mediate between India and Pakistan. Gaurav updates listeners on the Priya Ramani versus MJ Akbar case, and wraps up the conversation with an interesting yet surprising snippet from the Unnao case hearing which went unreported.

For all this and more, listen up!
access_time4 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry Hindi correspondent Basant Kumar, desk writer Gaurav Sarkar, and Khalid Shah, an associate fellow at Observer Research Foundation.

The discussion kicks off with Khalid expressing concerns over the clampdown in Kashmir and how that has affected the people living there. The panel discusses how the media covered the state after the big decision. Khalid says, "There are problems that are very unique to Kashmir and although people may have found a way to work around them, the normalisation of curfew in the media is itself problematic." Khalid adds, "The only leverage Pakistan really has is Afghanistan. They could derail the Afghan peace talks and arm-twist America to do something."

he group discusses why Ladakh is happy about being made into a union territory but Kashmir isn't. The conversation wraps up with Gaurav talking about his experience while covering the Unnao case and the panel questioning the judiciary on the verdict in the Khan case.
For this and more, listen up!
access_time4 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari while Newslaundry's Gaurav Sarkar, and AltNews’ Jignesh Patel and Pooja Chaudhari join in from The Media Rumble 2019.

The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about Ayush’s “hidden podcast skills” and Cherry’s under-recognition of the same. They talk about the abrogation of Article 370 and how it's been a historic week, even in the sense of how many times the word “historic” has been used in the news.

The panel also discusses the Ranbir Penal Code, communication blockage in Jammu & Kashmir, and the latest developments in NRC in Assam. Cherry points out how the news reports on Sushma Swaraj’s death and the passage of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill were eclipsed by the Article 370 issue.

The panel moves on to discuss fake news and misformation, and what goes into spreading and stopping it. Pooja explores how educational intervention is essential in curbing the spread of fake news.

For this and more, listen up!
access_time5 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar, and News Editor (Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast) of Ipsita Chakravarty.

The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about a petition in the Bombay High Court that sought a ban on the phrase "Alibaug se aaya hai kya". They also talk about the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and why it is contentious. Speaking of the media's coverage, Gaurav says, “Legacy media or the mainstream media didn’t seem to give the issue that much importance but independent media like The Wire, The Quint, did a really good job.” Ipsita adds: “The only way one can really gaze what is going on is through reporting, by going to Assam, speaking to as many people as possible.”

The panel discusses the Right To Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Gaurav says, “It’s a move to clamp down on what the government wants you to know and what they particularly do not want you to know.”

For this and more, listen up!
access_time5 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal is joined by independent journalist Kunal Purohit, who tracks right-wing politics, hate crimes, development and gender issues. Others on the panel include Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar and Newslaundry Hindi correspondent Basant Kumar who discuss media's coverage of Assam floods and Mumbai rains.

The panel also discusses the political crisis in Karnataka, for which they are joined by Anusha Ravi, a journalist with the New Indian Express, over the phone. Weighing in on the media's coverage, she says, "Over this entire political news, real issues are being locked somewhere."

The panel also discusses the spate of resignations by Congress leaders and Kunal says, "In order to stay relevant, the Congress was not doing enough to justify its space as the opposition."

For this and more, listen up!
access_time5 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal sits down with Gaurav Sarkar, Ayush Tiwari and Business Standard journalist Somesh Jha.

The discussion kicks off with Ayush talking about his ground reports from Jharkhand. On a larger question of diversity in reporting and follow-ups, Somesh says, “The first thing that any media organisation does is that they try to cut its cost through shutting down the regional bureaux and that has an impact on the reportage that goes in these areas.”

The panel also discussed the highs and lows of the Budget 2019. Cherry asks the panel their opinion on government’s plan to recapitalise public sector banks to which Somesh says, “We cannot say that recapitalisation is not required at all but what is also required along with the recapitalisation is a larger set of reforms.”

The panel also discusses the government's proposal to levy an additional surcharge on the super-rich. Gaurav says, “Taxing the super-rich will eventually be a good move because I think it will lead to a level playing field.”

From crabs' role in a dam breach in Maharashtra to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 86-claps during the Budget speech to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's curb on journalists' entry into the North Block, everything is discussed. For this and more, listen in!
access_time5 months ago
In this episode of Reporters without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry Correspondent Ayush Tiwari and Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar to talk about the protests against clean chit to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, courtroom drama during the deposition of former Union Minister MJ Akbar, Rahul Gandhi’s public meeting in Delhi, Election Commission's social media team in Bhopal and more.

Gaurav was covering the protest against the clean chit to Gogoi, while Ayush attended Congress president Rahul Gandhi's public meeting in New Delhi.

Gaurav talks about how courtroom proceedings (in the MJ Akbar defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani) turned into a boxing ring. He also talks about enthusiastic support from the audience in the gallery for Ramani.

Ayush speaks of his experience of attending a Rahul Gandhi election meeting. Cherry and Ayush talk about the atmosphere of the meeting, the loyalty of supporters and how ideology plays a driving force for the supporters of both parties. Ayush talks about his report from Bhopal on how the election commission's social media cell in Bhopal is keeping an eye on online campaigning of political parties in the state.

For all this and more, listen in.
access_time5 months ago
This week on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry Hindi reporter Basant Kumar and Newslaundry Desk writer Gaurav Sarkar.

The podcast kicks off with the panel discussing the heavy rains that lashed Mumbai. Speaking about the government's response, Gaurav said, "I don't think there is a lot that they can do because Mumbai has reached its saturation point." But do Cherry and Basant agree?

Meanwhile, Basant points out that the water crisis in Maharashtra has received limited reportage.

The panel also discusses the Chandni Chowk incident. Commending Delhi Police, Basant says, "We should praise the police for keeping the situation as calm as it is."

The discussion moves on to the alleged firing of one of Canada's top cartoonists, Michael de Adder. The cartoonist's contract was terminated by a publishing company in New Brunswick after a cartoon he did on US President Donald Trump went viral on social media.

The panel also talks about actor Zaira Wasim’s Bollywood exit. Was it religious indoctrination or an individual's choice. For this and more, listen up!
access_time6 months ago
This week, on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal is joined by Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari, desk writer Gaurav Sarkar and Newscentral 24x7's Abhinav Prakash.

The podcast kicks off with Abhinav talking about the rising death toll in Bihar's Muzaffarpur due to encephalitis. He says that the death toll is now above 100 and the Opposition has not been questioning the government regarding this due to the elections. “People are coming in every hour and no parent is hopeful that their child will survive once they come in,'' says Abhinav. The panel also discusses the media's coverage of encephalitis-related deaths in Gorakhpur last year.

The panel also discusses the doctors' strike in West Bengal. Gaurav and Ayush talk about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's response to the strike, the pan-India nature of the protest and how it impacted services throughout the country.

Moving on to a bit of international news, Ayush talks about the death of an Indian girl in a desert near the United States-Mexico border. He also talks about the crisis in Sudan and what gave rise to the conflict in the first place. Ayush explains the recent developments and the power dynamics between Russia, China, and the US. Gaurav talks about fake Instagram pages that have exploited the crisis to gain followers.

The panel also talks about cricket and the India-Pakistan World Cup match. They discuss how the reaction of Pakistani fans was much more measured after losing the match. Gaurav also discusses the post-match hungama and Shoaib Akhtar’s reaction on YouTube bashing the Pakistan cricket team.

For all this and a lot more, tune in now!
access_time6 months ago
This week, on Reporters Without Orders, Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari and Tarun Cherukuri of Indus Action to talk about the draft National Education Policy, Aligarh murder case, Akshaya Patra controversy and more.

The episode kicks off with Ayush talking about his experience in Aligarh, a district where a two-and-a-half-year-old was murdered. Ayush talks about the issue's portrayal on social media and how the presence of a “vicious” mob was giving communal undertones to the whole issue. Ayush also weighs in on whether it is right to badger a grieving family into giving a media bite, and talks about how the media's coverage of the case spiked after the initial days.

Moving on, the panel talks about the media's coverage of the education sector. Tarun says it is the media's responsibility to inform the society in a “discerning and tactful manner”. He also talks about the need to regulate information in the “post-truth and post-news era”.

Tarun also talks about the draft National Education Policy (NEP). He talks about how the report is “ambitious”, but expresses his reservations about it being “translatable"—both administratively and financially. Ayush asks him about the improvements that is needed in the education system. Tarun talks about how the efficacy of a policy is “lost in translation” between “an aspirational policy and the National Curriculum Framework”. Similarly, speaking about the draft NEP, he says, while it looks great on paper, it remains to be seen how the ministries are able to integrate the plan. He appreciates the fact that the draft NEP talks about developing “core aspects” such as “social and emotional wellbeing” rather than being ambitious with the curriculum. The panel also discusses how the three-language issue was unwarranted.

Next, the panel discusses the “arbitrary arrests” of social media comments. Ayush speaks about “thought policing” that is emanating from the top brass of the government, while Tarun talks about the responsibility of law enforcers. He adds that a law is as good as the people who can wield it.

For all this and a lot more, tune in now!
access_time6 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal is joined by the usual gang, Newslaundry's Ayush Tiwari and Gaurav Sarkar. Before getting down to business, Cherry decides to make the guys play a quick game of rapid fire where they must quickly respond with the first thing that comes to mind when certain words are thrown at them. Gaurav and Ayush react to a volley of interesting words including Modi, blockchain, dogs, Lays, Himachal and more.

Getting back to the podcast, Cherry asks what news pieces they spotted which were under-reported or over-reported. Gaurav points out the news of Ajit Doval being reappointed as the National Security Adviser for five years with a cabinet position. While he thinks it’s an important piece, it “didn’t deserve to eat up the Monday news cycle”. He thinks the report on the ostentatious expenditure made by parties during the elections was under-reported.

Ayush thinks that the news of the Congress expelling Kerala politician AP Abdullakutty for praising Modi was under-reported. He remarks that this news “shows a trend of how bitter things are”. He also thinks there's too much coverage of individual incidents in the ongoing tiff between BJP supporters and Mamata Banerjee. The panel agrees that the level of political debate needs to improve.

Ayush brings up the Congress's decision to not send spokespersons to news debates for a month. He discusses the possible motivations behind this “temporary non-engagement”. While the Congress seems to be fielding the narrative that they feel victimised by the media, there is speculation that this is a “cover story” and that the party is actually in a “maze of confusion” and will return when they can “reconfigure their views” on issues. Gaurav disagrees with the Congress's decision, saying, "You cannot back out of a game just because you lost.” Ayush agrees. Cherry asks the pair whether they would attend a debate if they knew it was rigged. Ayush replies: “As an individual, I wouldn’t. But as a party that claims to be the oldest in the subcontinent, I would.”

The panel moves on to discussing the ongoing cricket world cup. They discuss the episode on corruption in cricket on the Patriot Act by Hasan Minhaj and Minhaj's assertions. At the end of a long discussion, Gaurav, seemingly exasperated, opposes the “political scrutiny” that threatens to ruin the sport for the listeners. Ayush retorts: “Sleepwalk your romance off a cliff.”

This and a lot more. Tune in!
access_time6 months ago
In this episode of Reporters without Orders, Gaurav Sarkar takes over as host. He's joined by Newslaundry's Ayush Tiwari and Basant Kumar, as well as Jane Borges and Anamika Gharat, who are both reporters with Mid Day in Mumbai.

The panel discusses the Budgam incident, where a Mi-17 helicopter was shot down by the Indian Air Force in a case of friendly fire on February 27, leading to the death of all six airmen on board as well as a civilian on the ground. Gaurav asks why this information was revealed only after the conclusion of the general election. While Ayush recounts other instances of friendly fire and the resultant deaths caused, Basant calls this a sort of "cover-up", saying if the information was revealed in real time, it might have adversely affected the election results for the governing party.

The conversation moves to a story that Jane and Anamika reported from the village of Khopivali in Maharashtra, which faces severe water scarcity for a major part of the year. Community members here exclusively marry members only from outside the community, a tradition that is causing the village’s male residents to be stuck in a state of “forever bachelorhood” since no women from other villages want to get married and settle in Khopivali. “This is also a women empowerment issue,” Jane points out. Anamika explains how she discovered the story in the first place, and discusses how things played out in the political spectrum too.

The panel also discusses the growing violence towards Muslims ever since the results of the 2019 general election were announced and “the curious case of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation”.

For this and more, listen in!
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal speaks to Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari, Gaurav Sarkar and Basant Kumar about the exit polls and why they should be taken with a pinch of salt. They also discuss water scarcity, PM Modi's visit to Kedarnath, and more.

Discussing Pragya Thakur calling Nathuram Godse a "deshbhakt", Ayush says the novelty of the scandal is what "really touched a nerve". The panel finds itself divided on whether the issue deserved the over-reporting it received, or whether it was a statement that should not have received any attention.

Moving on to PM Modi's Kedarnath visit, Basant argues that it was over-reported and received a lot of unnecessary attention. He says it should have been considered a "dharm yatra", but the mainstream media turned it into a grand event. On the issue of water scarcity, the panel discusses how it should have been an electoral issue. “People are being forced to go and break the gates of dams,” says Cherry, arguing it should have been an important part of political dialogue in drought-ridden states.

Talking about Kashmir’s representation in the news, Gaurav states: “Geographical boundaries are trumped by a certain section of people interested in particular things.” He also talks about his experience in the Supreme Court while covering MJ Akbar’s defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani.

For all this and more, tune in!
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal speaks to Newslaundry correspondents Ayush Tiwari and Prateek Goel about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Delhi, the electoral climate in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and more. Ayush also speaks about his report on Atishi’s pamphlet.

The panel discusses Modi’s interview with News Nation, a report on cyclone Fani and how Dalits in Puri were turned away from cyclone shelters. They also talk about Prateek’s ground report from Madhya Pradesh: #MadhyaPradesh: In this village, caste determines the distance you travel to fetch water.

Prateek, while answering Cherry’s question on loan waivers in Madhya Pradesh, talks about how farmers in the state are unhappy with the Congress government as they've failed to deliver on their poll promise. Prateek also talks about how the regional media didn’t cover important issues in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

For all this and more, listen in
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar and Quint's Senior Correspondent Aishwarya Iyer to talk about the #Yeti, the Utsav Bains hearing, Elections 2019 and more.

Aishwarya and Ayush were covering elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively. They were gauging support for parties and how people in these places are forming their electoral opinions.

Apart from elections, the panel also talks about the Yeti sighting and its news value. The Indian Army had tweeted out a photo of a trail of footprints in the Himalayan snow, claiming to have found footprints of the mythical creature. The panellists are clearly divided. While Ayush gushes about its history and Gaurav hopes that Yetis exist, Aishwarya and Cherry cannot help but stress on the point that it gained way more attention than it should have. In all the Yeti news, the duo felt a recently-released UN climate report got very little coverage.

Utsav Bains had filed an affidavit claiming that he was approached with a “huge bribe” of ₹1.5 crore to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a false sexual harassment case. Gaurav shares the details of proceedings, the courtroom drama and more.

Although there is too much news to discuss, Gaurav points out that Game of Thrones didn't get as much hype as it should have.

For all this and more, listen in!
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal with Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the impact Sandeep Bamzai’s tutelage has had on IANS, a petition presented to the Supreme Court seeking permission for Muslim women to offer namaaz in mosques and Maneka Gandhi’s comments on the un-secret nature of secret ballots.
Ayush kickstarts the discussion with his own article about how a news agency, IANS, that has off late become "a part of the larger trend of media layoffs" as it suffocates under the corporate ownership of Mr Anil Ambani. He reveals examples of reporters at IANS and establishes a growing pattern alongside other media organizations such as Vice and Buzzfeed. The panel goes on to discuss the intricacies of corporate ownership and the direct influence they exercise on editorial management. Ayush also talks about a Swarajya Magazine report about how the family of a minor Dalit girl who was kidnapped by a man that happened to be Muslim were denied the right to file an FIR by the police since they did not want it to flare up into a ‘Hindu-Muslim’ issue. The panel then went into discussing the implications of ‘pseudo-secularism’ that dominates the Indian narrative today.
Gaurav discusses an archaic ritual that Shashi Tharoor made a mockery of himself participating in. The ritual, called ‘Tulabharam’, is one where a person’s “BMI is weighed in phool, phal and gold” and Tharoor fell off the scales having to endure 11 stitches afterwards. The panel delved into the problems associated with the endorsement by politicians of religious traditions such as these and the implications that such engagement had on the sentiments of the voting public. He also brought up a recent plea put before the Supreme Court by a Pune-based couple that sought permission to let women offer prayers in mosques. The discussion questioned the fast-paced nature of the proceedings as well nuances of religion such as the “contest between personal liberty and religion” and the stronghold of the religious orthodoxy.
Cherry drives the conversation towards the larger question of the responsibility of the media. She references a specific tweet by Times Now that says, “A political leader has said something communal, listen in” and questions the ethicality of cashing in on hate in the name of journalism. While Ayush agrees that its ‘clickbait’ tone was questionable, it is not the place of the media to dictate whether something, communal or otherwise, should be censored or not. The media should contextualize information, is what the panel agrees on, irrespective of that content that is. Cherry goes on to talk about Maneka Gandhi’s comment on not helping Muslim voters if they didn’t vote for her and lays down the reality of contemporary times wherein the concept of secret ballots is conceptually dead. With the Election Commission now providing politicians with a constituency-wise break up of votes via Form 20, the panel dived deep into the vulnerability of voters today.
The panel also brings up the ineffectiveness of the EC and the Supreme Courts backhand comments on its exercise of powers, the trend of the Supreme Court gaining an “inordinate amount of power”, as well as the oft-ignored details of Islam in terms of its various schools of law.
This and more, so listen up!
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Head of Research Ayush Tiwari, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar and Newslaundry Hindi reporter Basant Kumar. The panel talks the Enforcement Directorate's fourth supplementary chargesheet in the AgustaWestland chopper deal scam, increasing propaganda in daily soaps, the impact of communal violence in Western Uttar Pradesh, Congress' demonetisation sting operation and more.
Speaking about the allegations that journalists "toned down" reportage on the AgustaWestland scam, Ayush says: “ Manu Pubby and Shekhar Gupta broke the story on the Augusta Westland scam and if they wouldn’t have done it we wouldn’t have known about it." He also makes a case for why there is a need to look at the full chargesheet, going beyond sections of the document that was leaked to the media. He adds these are baseless allegations and do not make a strong case against the three journalists who were allegedly named.
Moving on, Gaurav points out political propaganda is increasingly being embedded in daily soaps such as Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain. He also talks of various such videos doing the rounds on Twitter. He questions the intent of such propaganda and says, “The Model Code of Conduct is in effect, is this (such content) even allowed during this period?”
Basant speaks about his ground report from Western UP which focused on understanding the impact of communal violence in the area. He is surprised that many young voters have fallen into a communal trap and are in favour of divisive politics. He says, “Hindus have hatred for Muslims while Muslims are fearful." There's also talk about what UP politics and 2019 general elections.
Gaurav talks about a sting operation shown by the Congress and raises questions about its credibility. He feels it's edited and says: “How do you get hard cuts in raw unedited video?”
#AugustaWestland #Uttar Pradesh #politics #general elections 2019 #communal politics
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal with Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the SSC paper leaks, Yogi Adityanath’s rally, the Congress manifesto and the newly launched NaMo TV.
Ayush talks about the press conference he attended on the SSC paper leaks conducted by Yogendra Yadav and Kanhaiya Kumar, an SSC aspirant from Bihar. He explains what happened and how the government and authorities were hand-in-glove. He says: “The Chairman of the SSC should be taken into account because this incident has happened under his nose.”
Cherry discusses the recently released Congress manifesto which made a slew of promises including some focusing on the media, like the amendment of Press Council of India Act to strengthen self-regulation of the media, and the empowering of the Press Council of India to fight the menace of fake news and misinformation. Most fake news is amplified by TV news on a daily basis, and Cherry says: “TV newsrooms have whipped up war hysteria, communal mongering ... Be it Ayodhya, Pulwama, Balakot—I mean TV newsrooms go insane.” She also discusses the Congress’s promise of making defamation a civil offence and the removal of the controversial sedition law.
Gaurav tells us about Yogi Adityanath’s rally in Bisara village near Greater Noida where the prime accused in the Akhlaq lynching case were present in the front rows, attending the rally. Gaurav quotes one of the accused as saying “we are out on bail and nothing can happen to us”. Ayush adds, “When one of the accused died, he was wrapped in a tricolour.” The panel discusses religion and the caste system in the context of the beef ban, and its impact on people.
Cherry also brings up NaMo TV—now renamed Content TV—and how most details about the channel are hidden. "The Election Commission should examine its funding, violation of the Model Code of Conduct, ownership and whether the broadcasting rules are being violated or not,” she says.
This and more, so listen up!
#NaMo #SSC #Congress #Manifesto #Yogi #Adityanath #elections
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Business Standard's Arup Roychoudhury, Newslaundry’s head of research Ayush Tiwari, and Newslaundry's associate editor Meghnad. The panel talks about the Election Commission of India's Model Code of Conduct, a recent study by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on Indian digital media, and Rahul Gandhi’s announcement of the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY).
The discussion starts with the Reuters report with Ayush explaining the nuances of the survey. The panel discusses its important aspects like the sample size and type of questions, and examines why some news sites are more trusted by Indians. Arup says, "Times of India right now in this country is almost as synonymous as 'Xerox' versus 'photocopy'."
Meghnad tells us about the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India with respect to social media for the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections. Ayush and Arup share their opinions on why the EC may face a lot of trouble in the absence of laws regarding political advertisements. On the EC's effort to keep a check on social media, Meghnad says, “Maybe they are just putting out reports of ‘we have taken action’, whereas there might be thousands and thousands which have just been ignored.” The panel also discusses the "ghost advertisers" on Facebook and the effectiveness of the EC’s guidelines.
Cherry discusses the recent announcements made by the Congress as poll promises, focusing on the NYAY, which is the party's minimum income guarantee scheme. “This is a poll promise, how well this gets implemented—if it gets implemented—is what we have to see.” NYAY offers ₹12,000 per month for a family (up to ₹72,000 per year) as basic income. When it comes to how the scheme will be funded, Ayush says: “Till the coming election they won’t clarify it, because keeping it vague is the best idea.” Arup also gives an in-depth analysis of the basic structure of a minimum income guarantee scheme and ways to fund it.
For all this and more, listen up!
#Nyuntam#Aay #Yojana #ModelCodeOfConduct#Congress #BJP #media #trust
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, award-winning reporter Amit Visen, Newslaundry’s head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about gender pay gap across newsrooms, Rahul Gandhi's use of "ji" for Jaish chief Masood Azhar, Election Commission's presser, custodial deaths in Bihar, government advertisements and more.
The discussion starts with Ayush talking about a YouGov poll on dwindling job opportunities in the country. He mentions that the females surveyed are conscious of the disparity in pay. Cherry mentions the BBC's gender pay gap story and asks Amit about his experience with different media organisations. Amit speaks of the prejudice against women journalist that restricts them to female-centric content.
Reflecting on what was over-reported by sections of the media, Gaurav talks about the internet outrage over Rahul Gandhi using "ji" to address Masood Azhar. The panel also discusses the misuse of laws such as sedition.
Amit talks about the announcements made by the Election Commission and what does no-go for simultaneous elections in Jammu and Kashmir mean. He also expresses his disappointment at the under-reporting of the custodial deaths in Bihar.
Ayush and Gaurav share their opinion on the Huffington Post report about the Indian cricket team wearing camouflage caps. “…It's not difficult to see the emotion that they are coming from, post-Pulwama, but does it really require PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] …to say that you all are hurting our sentiments?” says Gaurav. Ayush remarks, “They [Indian government] have given patriotism a bad name by taking it to very irrational extremes but that shouldn’t limit our horizon of looking at things.”
Cherry discusses the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and some of the announcements made by the Election Commission. Is monitoring the spread of fake news and disinformation across social media platforms within EC's jurisdiction? Is EC's reasoning for not holding Jammu and Kashmir's assembly polls tenable? For answers to these, some media updates and more, listen up!
NL Sena:
#Kashmir #Election Commission #Lok Sabha #polls
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal is joined by Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari, desk writer Gaurav Sarkar and Vijaita Singh from The Hindu. The panel talks about the reporting on the Balakot airstrike, ghost advertising for the BJP online, and more.
The podcast kicks off with the panel talking about the reportage on the casualties caused by the IAF’s airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad's training camp. Discussing the varying numbers put out by the media, Vijaita says: “There was a precision strike ... even Pakistan has admitted ... but to give numbers, it’s very difficult for the IAF or anybody because Pakistan is very secretive about these things.” Cherry is concerned about the credibility of "anonymous sources", saying, "I am often fearful that once the report goes out, [what if] my source flips over and says I didn’t talk to you?”
They discuss the I&B Ministry’s showcause notice to two TV channels for airing a Pakistan Army press briefing. Ayush pointing out its digital equivalent, says: “Many of these digital outlets carried stories on what the Pakistan newspapers are saying … would that also be considered against national security?” Cherry points out that the media is not a tool for the government to set the narrative—it's there to raise questions, which doesn't make them anti-national or unpatriotic.
The discussion moves to Gaurav’s story on how Facebook's recently-released Ad Library Report lists "ghost advertisers"—who are Facebook and Instagram pages which often run ads for political parties without disclaimers. Gaurav explains, "You don’t know who has been funding that. So officially, if the BJP’s accounts are spending ₹6-8 lakh a week, then who are these guys pushing about a crore worth of advertising in a month?”
For this and more, listen up!
#Balakot #BJP #Facebook #National security #Media #India #Kashmir #Pulwama #Pakistan #airstrikes
access_time7 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari, special correspondent Prateek Goyal and independent journalist Aruna Chandrasekhar. The panel talks about the Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Supreme Court's order to evict more than 1 million tribals and forest-dwellers, the Kisan long march in Maharashtra and more.
The podcast kicks off with the panel talking about IAF’s airstrike on Jaish-e-Muhammad's "biggest training camp" in Pakistan. They also talk about the Supreme Court's verdict which has the potential to impact as many as 1 million tribals and forest-dwellers. Cherry points how tribals are often criticised for occupying "illegal" land. To which, Aruna says, “The government is supposed to be a custodian of public land…the idea that they are illegal occupants or illegal encroachers is part of language that is still extremely entrenched in our bureaucracy.”
The panel also discusses why Arunachal Pradesh has been on the boil and a section of the media's coverage of the ongoing agitation. Further, they discuss the Republic TV-AMU controversy and the reason why sedition is used with much ease. Talking about police's actions in the AMU case, Ayush says, “They didn’t make any arrests in that sedition charge case… there are robbery, murder, rioting (charges), besides the sedition charge.”
Moving on, Prateek, who was at the Kisan long march that began from Nasik's Mumbai Naka, tells the panel what he saw on the ground. The panel also discusses the implications of association of the farmers' protest with AIKS. Prateek says, “Farmers are in distress… people above the age of 70 walked 20-25 km to take part in the march.” He says whether AIKS takes advantage of that or not is a separate issue, but such protests will go a long way in highlighting the agrarian distress.
#Balakot #Supreme Court #Tribals #KisanLongMarch
access_time7 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar, journalist Safwat Zargar and the author of HRW's latest report, Jayshree Bajoria. While Zargar joined the panel from Kashmir, Bajoria joined over the phone from New York. The panel talks about the coverage of the Pulwama attack, where more than 40 CRPF personnel where killed. They also discuss Zargar's profile of Adil Ahmed Dar, the teen behind the Pulwama attack, Cobrapost's latest exposé and more.
The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about the Pulwama attack and its reportage in Kashmir. Speaking of the difference in coverage between the local papers in Kashmir and a section of the national media, Zargar says, "There was this clear-cut misunderstanding, like the national media jumped on to Pakistan…local papers tried to contextualise it in a way...such as what led to his [Dar's] joining and so on." Cherry is also curious about how local reporters in Kashmir cope up with the challenge of conflicting narratives given the multitude of stakeholders such as the Army, Militants, residents etc. She asks Zargar, “How do you ensure that there is objectivity?”
The panel also further discusses the closure Milli Gazette, a weekly newspaper, and Cobrapost’s Operation Karaoke in which more than 36 Bollywood celebrities were stung. Gaurav says, “When it comes to brazenly taking money in cash…obviously raises the question that there is a backdoor mechanism that converts this black money into white.”
The discussion then moves to the report published by Human Rights Watch,Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities. Bajoria says, "What we are seeing is a political campaign to use this issue of cow protection for political purposes to gain Hindu votes, and therefore, we've seen these so-called 'cow-protection' groups spring up across the country."
For this and more, listen up!
#PulwamaAttack #Cobrapost #Gau #Raksha #CRPF #Zargar
access_time7 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal and Newslaundry's Head of Research Ayush Tiwari. Prateek Goyal, Newslaundry's special correspondent from Maharashtra, joins in later to report on police protection being given to Abhishek Mishra in Kamal Nath’s Madhya Pradesh. The conversation covers the hooch tragedy, Arnab Goswami vs Shashi Tharoor case, and more.
Ayush and Cherry talk about the hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, expressing shock at the politicising of such tragedies. Cherry asks why the government isn't clamping down on the entire business of hooch. Ayush says, "There is a whole shadow market for these things ... It is common knowledge that the main government, the security forces—they benefit from this shadow market. It is a quid pro quo among the people who produce this kind of liquor.”
Cherry moves on to Shashi Tharoor’s charges against Arnab Goswami. She remarks: “If you are filing an FIR against a journalist for accessing documents which are not in the public domain, it sets a dangerous precedent.”
Prateek Goyal joins in to report on the police protection being given to "fake news guru" Abhishek Mishra in Congress-led MP. He says, “This boy is not a high profile person. He used to do propaganda videos on YouTube and he still does that for the Congress. It is unusual that the entire state government is mobilised for his protection now, for a person who so blatantly generates fake news.”
For all this and more, listen up!
#Arnab Goswami #hooch #Uttar Pradesh
access_time7 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal, Business Standard’s Somesh Jha, Newslaundry's Head of Research Ayush Tiwari and Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the NSSO employment-unemployment report, Harvest TV and its birthing troubles, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s new regulations and more.
Somesh speaks about NITI Aayog's comments on the NSSO report. He says, “The fact that he says it was a draft report, is misleading, because the NSE member who had resigned, they are on record saying that the report was finalised by them and it was approved for release in the public domain. So clearly, it was not the draft report.”
The panel discusses TRAI's new framework for Cable TV and DTH operators. Gaurav says, “Now, instead of buying entire package deals, you can opt to pay for single channels.” He adds, “In spite of this change in mechanism, there has been a lot of pushback from viewers themselves who have been calling Dish TV or DEN and saying ‘hey, I don’t know how to figure this out.’”
The discussion then moves to the story behind Harvest TV’s license. Ayush explains why the past owner of Harvest TV cannot sue the showrunners of the new Harvest TV. He says, “He is not the richest guy in the world, as opposed to Veecon media based in Delhi, as opposed to Barkha, Karan, Kabil Sibal based in Delhi. These guys are from Trivandrum, they run a Christian platform. Most of their revenue comes from the Pentecostal Church of Kerala to which they sold their prime-time slots. ”
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, the panel discusses Cobrapost's recent exposé, Kapil Sibal's comments on Harvest TV, the ensuing controversy, CAG Rajiv Mehrishi’s alleged tax evasion and more. The panel includes Cherry Agarwal, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar, Head of Research Ayush Tiwari, and Special Correspondent Prateek Goyal.
Gaurav kicks off the discussion with the Cobrapost investigation that he reported on. Ayush points out a lack of due process. “There were allegations that [Cobrapost] had sent its questionnaire with 64 questions to DHFL on the same morning as the press conference. That raises a lot of counter-questions from the perspective of DHFL.” Gaurav also notes: “What really stood out was that the presser started at 3 pm yesterday at the Press Club. Why hold it once the stock markets are shut?”
Giving a background on the Harvest TV controversy, Ayush said, “What you can say of all these media houses, because HTN is not the only one coming out, there will be many more in the coming days. They are all trying to cash in on the 2019 general elections.” Cherry weighs in, “They were trying to get licenses for about year now, if the government was not issuing licenses then that is a problem.”
Prateek joins the discussion over the phone. He speaks about his fact-check report on "cyber expert" Syed Shuja. Prateek said, “We checked with ECL, no one knows [Shuja]. What if he is also making up the names? His entire account is fake.”
The panel also discusses the ethics of journalism. Cherry poses the question, “When you are reporting on dire issues you see people hanging by a thread, would you intervene?” Ayush, says that he would. He says that being a reporter/journalist is a label that comes later. Gaurav says he would not intervene when “the greater good is actually reporting the story, and knowing that it would probably have an impact.”
For all this and more, listen up!
#Cobrapost #Media #Kapil Sibal #Harvest TV
access_time7 months ago
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Business Standard, joins the in-house gang of Gaurav Sarkar, Prateek Goyal, Ayush Tiwari and Cherry Agarwal. The panel discusses the chargesheet filed by the Delhi police against the former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others. They also discuss the challenges of beat reporting, the presser on EVM hacking, media’s coverage of land conflicts and more.
Ayush begins the discussion by talking about the under-reportage of “Operation Lotus” in Karnataka. Gaurav adds, “Maybe one of the reasons it has been under-reported is also because Karnataka has been in shambles ever since the elections started...Maybe from an editorial point of view, it doesn’t hold water because it has been happening for quite some time.”
Speaking about media’s coverage of #JNUSeditionCase, Gaurav dubbed media’s coverage as “over-the-top”. Cherry disagreed. “Sedition is a law that needs a lot of discussions—if someone is being slapped with sedition, it does deserve prime-time coverage,” she said. In this particular case, “the charge sheet is being filed after three years, the delay itself should have the journalists questioning what’s happening,” she added.
Sambhav discussed the media’s reportage of the new agricultural package. He said, “There was so much anticipation that the government has come up with something extraordinary on farmer’s distress...but I could see journalists not being as critical about examining what exactly that package means for business economics and farmers...the reporting was also very superficial.” To which, Cherry asked, “Is it because newsrooms lack expertise?” It is rather due to a paucity of time, Sambhav explained. “When it comes to issues (sic) such as these, reporters need to spend time on deciphering the information, many reporters don’t get to do this. That’s the unfortunate part of how media functions,” he said.
Prateek joins the discussion to talk about the excesses of security forces in Chhatisgarh’s Korseguda. He also speaks about why it is challenging for the media to cover such regions.
For all this and more, listen up!
#India news #JNU sedition #land conflicts #Chhattisgarh #Media #Operation Lotus
access_time7 months ago
In the latest episode of Reporters Without Orders Cherry Agarwal is in conversation with Arvind Gunasekar, a CBI beat reporter, Vakasha Sachdev, The Quint's associate editor-legal, Rohin Verma, former Newslaundry journalist, and Ayush Tiwari. The panel discusses the controversy surrounding the Central Bureau of Investigation, former Supreme Court Justice HS Bedi’s report on alleged fake encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006, brutal gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Gaya, JNU sedition case and more.
The discussion kicks off with the panel sharing their thoughts on the media's recent coverage of pertinent news pieces. Speaking of Alok Verma's resignation and the larger CBI controversy, Arvind talks about the source of the conflict. The panel also talks about the role of the Central Vigilance Commission, Supreme Court-appointed supervisor retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection panel.
Coming to the government's role, Vakasha speaks about how the government used on-paper transfer protocols to strip former CBI chief Alok Verma of his powers. He says, “The government is very clever here.” The panel also discusses how different decision-makers, in this case, seem to have a conflict of interest. Weighing in, Rohin adds, “Judiciary bohot zyada dari hui hai (the judiciary is very afraid)", when it comes to matters concerning the prime minister’s office.
The panel also talks about the JNU sedition row, with Vakasha pointing out the dangers of the sedition law. For all this and more, listen up!
#CBI #AlokVerma #JNUSedition
access_time7 months ago
This week Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal in conversation with Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari, The Print's Amrita Nayak Dutta and Economic & Political Weekly’s Tejas Harad. In this episode, among other things, the panel discusses the #QuotaBill, which allows for 10 per cent reservation for economically weak sections of people belonging to the general category in jobs and education.
The podcast kicks off with Ayush talking about Greater Kashmir’s misinterpretation of Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s interview. Amrita speaks about media's coverage of the Indian Science Congress, where outlandish claims were made, while Cherry talks about media's coverage of the #CitizenshipAmendmentBill.
Tejas doubts that the #QuotaBill “will stand judicial scrutiny”. He explains the long judicial and legislative process required to bring such a quota into effect. He says it is not being opposed by other political stakeholders because it would eliminate the upper-caste vote. The panel also discusses the Supreme Court's stand on an economic criterion being used for reservation and why this bill will involve amending Article 15 (4).
The panel then goes on to discuss, in the context of caste, whether “people of a community being the torchbearers of the narrative” is necessary to rectify the discourse on caste. Ayush identified this to be a part of the larger debate on whether only those with the lived experiences of prejudice must be the dominant voices in the discourse.
Amrita spoke about her story on the government’s attempts to monitor the media, as well as Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's response. Ayush argues that “it is not negative coverage, but real journalism at stake here”.
For all this and more, listen up!
#QuotaBill #Reservation #BJP #media monitoring #CitizenshipAmendmentBill
access_time7 months ago
This week’s Reporters without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal in conversation with Ayush Tiwari, Scroll staff writer Shoaib Daniyal, Newslaundry special correspondent Prateek Goyal, and Indian Express Digital correspondent from Kerala, Vishnu Varma. Conversations range from Triple Talaq to Sabarimala to Bhima Koregaon.
Ayush starts off by expressing his disapproval on the lack of coverage on the recent Transgender Persons Bill and its flaws. Shoaib talks about his dissatisfaction over the lack of coverage of Bangladesh's controversial polls which took place last week. The panel discusses the "quid pro quo" relationship between Sheikh Hasina and the Modi government.
The discussion moves to the Triple Talaq bill and its peculiar clauses. Shoaib says the Catch-22 is that “although 'talaq talaq talaq’ does not annul the marriage, it can put you in jail”. The panellists then analyse the motivations behind either side of the debate in relation to Muslim women vote banks and male victimisation. They discuss the historical developments within Muslim personal law and alimony regulations during the Shah Bano case.
Prateek joins in to discuss Bhima Koregaon. He commends the way the Maharashtra Police handled the large crowds to prevent violence. They banned certain activist groups and performers and placed countless cameras in an attempt to mitigate chaos and rioting. Prateek says he's fairly satisfied with the ample coverage of Bhima Koregaon this year.
Next, Vishnu reports on the latest developments at Sabarimala temple and how two women in their 40s entered it. Cherry asks if this incident will serve as an example for other women to break discriminatory pilgrimage rules.
For all this and more, listen up!
#Bangladesh #BhimaKoregaon #TransgenderPersonsBill #TripleTalaq #Sabarimala
access_time7 months ago
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Amit Bhardwaj with Rahul Kotiyal, special correspondent Prateek Goyal and Snigdhendu Bhattacharya from Hindustan Times.
Amit starts the podcast by asking Snigdhendu about the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rath Yatra in Kolkata, which was supposed to be hosted on December 7 but was blocked by the Trinamool Congress. They discuss how the whole thing was rebranded from a Rath Yatra to a "Save Democracy" programme.
The panel moves on to the rumours surrounding Varun Gandhi leaving the BJP and joining the Congress and how news reports constantly feed these rumours. Rahul adds: “In the Congress, the sky is the limit for Varun Gandhi and he’ll be a threat to Rahul Gandhi if he joins.”
Amit talks about Kamal Nath becoming the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and his race for the position. The panel also talks about the cut-throat competition between the two parties and how the BJP's anti-incumbency factor played out in the state. Rahul notes: “The BJP’s strategy is to praise the Modi-Shah duo and blame it on local leaders if they lose elections.”
Next, they discuss the reason behind the strong win of the Congress in Rajasthan, and where Vasundhara Raje failed and Sachin Pilot succeeded. Amit says the unemployment factor amongst the youth and the farmer crisis contributed. Prateek quotes people of Rajasthan saying, “Modi tujhse bair nahi, Vasundhra teri khair nahi” which the Congress claims was given by the RSS while the BJP blames the Congress. Nevertheless, the slogan claims that Narendra Modi still has a certain hold in Rajasthan, but Amit says Modi's charm has diminished as “voters of Modi are in a toxic relationship which you know is not working out, but you just don’t want to quit it”.
For this and more, listen up!
access_time7 months ago
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal along with in-house writer, Gaurav Sarkar. Today, we have three guests joining us on the panel: Mumbai-based Parth MN, Haryana-based Jyoti Yadav, and DNA’s Amrita Madhukalya.
This episode focuses primarily on the agrarian crisis—including the Kisan Mukti March which took place in Delhi on November 29 and 30.
The podcast kicks off with the panel sharing their experiences of interacting with farmers at the rally. Parth talks about how the presence of Opposition leaders in the rally was favourable for the farmers’ movement. “They (farmers) can use the platform to hold the establishment accountable. It is all about holding the establishment accountable. And if and when they come to power, as media we can hold them accountable for the speeches they have made at the rally,” he adds. Jyoti agrees and says it is crucial to politicise the issue as it makes the issue mainstream.
The conversation then moves on to discuss how the media covered the Kisan Mukti March. Parth points out that though this particular rally was covered well by the media, the media has also been largely ignorant of the agrarian crisis that has been affecting almost the entire rural economy. “(The) spurts in farmer suicides happened largely after a drought, hailstorm or a natural calamity,” he said. “This is usually the last straw on the camel’s back. But why the farmer was sitting on the brink is something that we do not explore.”
Talking about how the rally was covered by the Hindi media, Jyoti says it's time they stop romanticising the farmer crisis and instead focus on talking about the actual issue as it is. She feels that the pieces being churned out by various publications should be written as reports and not as literary articles.
Gaurav draws a comparison between the first farmers’ march in Mumbai and the one that took place recently in Delhi. He points out that while political leaders were not allowed to make speeches at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, in Delhi, they were not only encouraged, but also expected to do so.
The discussion then moves to how newsrooms were not very well prepared for the massive rally in Mumbai. Cherry points out that this shows the shortcomings of newsrooms. Amrita adds: “Newsrooms also need to invest in a sustained coverage of farmer crisis. Newsrooms need to take into account that this is going to be the biggest political conversation in the 2019 elections.”
Summing up the discussion, Parth points out: “We need to ensure that the farming crisis becomes a part of our discourse and our daily conversations. Long story short—we should not be reminded of a farmer’s struggle only when they die.”
For all this and more, listen up!
#Kisan Mukti March #Agrarian crisis #Farmers #Agriculture #Delhi #Rajasthan
access_time7 months ago
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, Special Correspondents Amit Bhardwaj and Prateek Goyal, and Devesh K Pandey, Special Correspondent with The Hindu.
Prateek, who is covering the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh shares his insights on core election issues, state politics and the farmer-centric Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana.
Devesh tells us about the ongoing controversy within the Central Bureau of Investigation. He speaks about the genesis of the fallout, the significance of MK Sinha's petition, CJI Ranjan Gogoi's reaction to The Wire's report during a hearing on DCBI Alok Verma's petition and more.
The podcast also discusses Manohar Lal Khattar’s statement on rape cases in Haryana and death of an RTI activist in Madhya Pradesh. For all this and more, listen up!
#MadhyaPradeshElections, #CBIvsCBI #CJI Ranjan Gogoi #Alok Verma
access_time7 months ago
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, Special Correspondent Amit Bhardwaj, and Desk Writer, Gaurav Sarkar. The panel is joined by two guests over the phone: Chhattisgarh-based Kamal Shukla, editor of Bhumkal Samachar and Kerala-based Vishnu Varma from Indian Express digital.
In the podcast, Amit talks about how sections of the media over-reported Tej Pratap Yadav's divorce. Yadav is the elder son of former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi. Amit also weighs in on how stories of news value from Bihar such as the developments in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case have been eclipsed. Adding to the point, Cherry speaks about the repeated denial of bail to Delhi-based analyst and journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra.
Speaking about the ground reality of Chhattisgarh elections, senior journalist Kamal Shukla tells the panel why the narrative of a larger voter turnout smells fishy. Moving on, Gaurav talks about his report on National Herald and the controversy around Herald House. He also talks about IndiaSpend's report on the rising number of hate crimes in the country.
The panel is joined by Vishnu Varma over the phone. Talking about the Supreme Court's recent Sabarimala verdict, Varma speaks about how political parties like the BJP and the Congress are busy appeasing the voters. Then there is a discussion about
CNN's lawsuit against US President Donald Trump and more. Listen up!
#Chhattisgarh elections #Sabarimala #CNN #Donald Trump #Herald House #Abhijit Iyer-Mitra
access_time7 months ago
What is #RBIvsGovt all about? This episode of Reporters Without Orders with Business Standard's assistant editor Arup Roychoudhury, Newslaundry's Amit Bhardwaj, Gaurav Sarkar and Cherry Agarwal has the details. The panel is joined by Prem Shankar Mishra, senior correspondent with Navbharat Times Lucknow, to discuss discrepancies in teacher recruitment in Uttar Pradesh and the impact of his story.
The discussion starts with Arup talking about the rift between the Reserve Bank of India and the government. Speaking about RBI's independence, Arup explains that RBI's autonomy is without any legal backing. Weighing in on media's coverage of economic policy, he adds, “The general channels don’t have the bandwidth or intelligence to cover this."
Prem joins the panel to speak about developments in the teacher recruitment scam following his story. As matters stand, the High Court has taken cognisance of the issue.
Speaking about an issue that got more attention than it deserved, Amit says that the Ayodhya dispute was over-reported in the media. He adds that sections of the media also misreported the issue, which was hyped without much context.
Gaurav talks about a recent incident in Bihar, where an 80-year-old Muslim man was lynched and burned by a mob. This found little coverage in mainstream media, Gaurav tells the panel. Meanwhile, he says, the Statue of Unity got more coverage than it deserved.
Cherry talks about how the New York Times' Pakistan edition skipped publishing a critical op-ed piece by Mohammed Hanif. The article was about Asia Bibi's acquittal. She also talks about Arnab Goswami’s appointment to the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library and killing of five Bengali-speaking men in Assam's Tinsukia.
For this and more, listen up!
#Ayodhya #RBI #Asia Bibi #Bihar #StatueOfUnity #ArnabGoswami
access_time7 months ago
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features a complete in-house panel comprising our host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's intrepid reporters Prateek Goyal and Amit Bhardwaj, Gaurav Sarkar from the Newslaundry desk.
The podcast kicks off with a discussion on air pollution and Delhi's deteriorating air quality. The panel also discusses media's coverage of the issue. Gaurav says that had the media given enough attention to this issue, a solution would have emerged. "A knee-jerk reaction won't solve the problem, air pollution has to be tackled head-on. We need proper investigative reports on climate change, including reports that track air quality over 10-15 years of time to find long-term solutions," Gaurav says.
Prateek tells us that the drought situation in many parts of Maharashtra has been under-reported and issues like Rakhi Sawant's dramatic press conference are being over-reported. Issues like migration from drought-hit areas and human trafficking of young girls from these regions remain under-reported, Prateek adds. "Will the election year force the media to cover farmer distress and related issues? Will the politicians try to please the farmers just because it's election time? Amit asks.
The panel also discusses the death of eight-year-old Mohammad Azeem at South Delhi’s Jamia Faridiya Madrasa. Amit tells the panel that it was not a case of mob lynching, as was being portrayed by sections of the media. For all this and more, listen up!
#Delhi #JusticeForAzeem #Pollution #CBI